September 26, 2004

The Internet As Platform

The Now Economy By: ams

Tim O’Reilly writes,

The trends that are emerging today are at least as earth-shaking as the web and the open source movement turned out to be. I’m talking about the emergence of what I’ve started to call Web 2.0, the internet as platform. We heard about that idea back in the late 90s, at the height of the browser wars, but that turned out to be a false alarm. But I believe we’re now starting the third age of the internet — the first being the telnet-era command line internet, the second the web — and the third, well, that tale grows in the telling. It’s about the way that open source and the open standards of the web are commoditizing many categories of infrastructure software, driving value instead to the data and business processes layered on top of (or within) that software; it’s about the way that web sites like eBay, Amazon, and Google are becoming platforms with rich add-on developer communities; it’s about the way that network effects and data, rather than software APIs, are the new tools of customer lock-in; it’s about the way that to be successful, software today needs to work above the level of a single device; it’s about the way that the Microsofts and Intels of tomorrow are once again going to blindside established players because all the rules of business are changing.

Web 2.0 forms the foundation on which The Now Economy will develop — although I don’t know how I like this idea of “network effects and data [belonging to centralized services] [being] the new tools of customer lock-in” — wasn’t the internet supposed to free us from lock-in?

And by the way, in Web 2.0, people have a choice of browser. Internet Explorer is no longer as innovative, secure, or stable as Safari / Konqueror, Opera, and Firefox (the beta of which passed 1 million downloads in 100 hours. I use Firefox as my default browser now, and it makes me verrrrrry happy… 🙂

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